“Since fly fishing has 10,000 writers, all of whom have apparently written a book, I’d like to see these authors refocus some of their pitches toward non-fly-fishing publications… I’m just suggesting that you also query some general-interest magazines to see if we can place a few fly fishing stories in front of people not in the choir,”
Tom Bie, editor of The Drake
(from the December issue of Angling Trade) – read the column in it’s entirety below.
No doubt, a brilliant idea… one worth follow-up. As such, Angling Trade is now partnering with The Drake to formulate a “press fishing rendezvous” to spread fly fishing’s reach to other media.
Who better to advance the story of fly fishing to editors of other specialty-interest magazines (skiing, golf, backpacking, outdoor, women’s magazines…) than editors and writers from within the fly fishing world? We understand their challenges. And we know how to make stories.
So we’re going to advance this idea into action by hosting an event where we—fly fishing editors/writers—take other editor/writers to the river… to show them the allure of fly fishing, and make a case for including a fly fishing angle in their magazines. We’re going to put it on the line, tell them our sport needs their help… show them why our sport is great… and help them make win-win stories.
Manufacturers, lodges, guides, retailers… if you want to help facilitate this… contact us at [email protected]. This is a budding idea, and something we want to pull off in spring/summer 2010. Who’s going to help?
A Broader Appeal: Recapturing the Cool Factor
Written by Tom Bie
There’s an intriguing bit of dialogue in Social Media, one of fall’s hottest movies, where Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin are arguing about whether or not they should begin running ads on Facebook. “It’s time for the website to start generating revenue,” Saverin says, “with advertising.” Zuckerberg answers: “No. Facebook is cool, and if we start installing pop-ups for Mountain Dew, it’s not gonna be cool. We don’t even know what it is yet. We just know that it’s cool.”
Like it or not, this is true for fly fishing as well—especially with young people. It may sound childish or irrelevant, but if our sport doesn’t look cool, kids aren’t interested. The theme of this issue is “What’s Next?” I’m reluctant to make predictions because everything—industries, attitudes, tackle, techniques, media—is moving so much faster than it used to. (Twitter didn’t even exist five years ago. Now try going a single day without hearing it mentioned). Nevertheless, I can say with certainty that making fly fishing look cool matters, especially in the oft-repeated desire to “attract more young people to the sport.”
In his editor’s letter, Kirk suggests that we make a stronger connection with the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), and “bass nation.” And I agree. We absolutely buy xanax online safe should reach out to those groups, because having relationships with them can only help our industry, especially when it comes to lobbying efforts, crossover marketing initiatives, and speaking with a united voice on conservation issues.
But when it comes to attracting new participants, I am dubious about relying too heavily on a trade group or professional organization to do it. I still believe that each and every one of us showing a few of our friends what happens when a largemouth eats a popper can attract new flyfishers as well or better than a faceless, bureaucratic-sounding trade group. I use bass fishing as an example because “reaching out to bass nation” has seemingly replaced the Second Coming of A River Runs Through It as our industry’s Hail Mary. Clinging to the notion that flyfishing’s future depends on the Banjo Minnow Master using a fly rod feels desperate to me. I think the golfer, the skier, or the mountain biker is more likely to set foot in a fly shop than the guy who has spent his entire life deciding which rubber worm to buy at Wal-Mart.
But therein lies one of the beauties of this sport. When it comes to “looking cool,” everyone’s perception is different. I don’t think professional bass fishermen look cool. To me, they look like wanna-be NASCAR drivers who can’t find the track. But to many thousands of kids—the two sons in Talladega Nights come to mind (“I’m all jacked up on Mountain Dew!”)—I’m sure bass nation guys are the epitome of cool. Which is why we need both approaches to help move this industry forward.
Also, adding to Kirk’s list in his editor’s letter, there is one other thing I’d like to see happen: Since fly fishing has 10,000 freelance writers, all of whom have apparently written a book, I’d like to see these authors start refocusing their flyfishing pitches toward some non-flyfishing publications. I’m not suggesting writers stop sending queries to Kirk Deeter, Frank Amato, Joe Healey, Andrew Steketee, Ross Purnell, Steve Probasco, Steve Walburn, Tom Bie or any other flyfishing editor. I’m just requesting that you also query some general-interest magazines to see if we can place a few flyfishing stories in front of people not in the choir. In-flight magazines would be a great place to start, like Southwest Airlines’ Spirit or United Airlines’ Hemispheres. These mags have “Top Ten” articles on golf courses or ski resorts or spas in every other issue. Let’s bombard them with some flyfishing destinations and see what happens. And if you really love the taste of rejection, send something to Mens Journal or Outside or Esquire. True, they’re a lot harder to get a story in, but if you can pull it off, a half million people will see it. And that would be cool.